The TerraSAR-X satellite is well-suited to surface movement monitoring with its frequent revisits and radar interferometry techniques. The satellite has been employed successfully for a variety of civil engineering and infrastructure projects.
The accompanying image of Beijing gives a sense of where the land moves most, including lowering (subsidence) and rising (uplift). The data are helpful for monitoring areas prone to landslides as well as for important infrastructure projects such as roadways and bridges. Knowing where movement occurs across a project area allows engineers to devise counteractive engineering approaches.
Satellite-based monitoring helps delineate movements more readily and cheaply than the more precise terrestrial Global Navigation Satellite System monitoring. However, the two approaches work best in tandem, especially where high sensitivity is needed.